I mentioned in my spring cleaning post that there are a lot of projects I am completing this spring that I have had on my to do list for a long time. This is one of those projects. I have been intending to make myself a knitting needle organizer for a long… long… time.
For a long time I had my knitting needles all stuffed into this leopard print makeup pouch that I got randomly for a gift from my g-ma. It got to the point that they didn’t all fit in there anymore, so for the last year or so this has been my needle organization:
Eeep! That is pretty frightening. I finally decided to buckle down and get this under control. I started looking and pinning on my knitting board for inspiration different styles of cases. I pretty much don’t own any straight pairs of needles, because I just don’t prefer using them. I do have some flex needles, because I got them for super cheap while I was working at a yarn store, but they act very similarly to circular needles in organization. I also have a lot of DPNS, and a nice range of crochet hooks. I like to keep things as small as possible, and most of what I’ve found tends to be a little on the larger side, or geared specifically towards straight needles. (It’s amazing to me how many cases are out there for straight needles considering how few people I know who actually use straight needles most of the time… I think most of those tutorials and pictures are for people who dream about knitting or think it’s cute but don’t actually do much of it!) I knew what I needed was something that kept all of my stuff together, as well, because I don’t have that much in the way of knitting supplies and it’s nicer when it’s all in one place.
Thus the above turns into this:
Ahh.. that’s better. A simple, compact roll up case with spots for dpns, crochet hooks, and circular/flex needles, all tidy and organized. (I do apologize for how busy the fabric is… it’s what I had on hand, and it does look lovely in person.)
Here is how I did it.
You will need a little bit of heavier weight fabric. I used about a fat quarter of two prints of canvas. You will also need a button, and about a 2″ length of 1/4″ elastic.
Cut out rectangles of the following dimensions. Be careful to note the orientation of your print (something I did not do!) All of these will be 4″ wide, which should span horizontally across your print.
There are also two flaps to be cut out for the top and side:
Hem the top edge of all but the 9″ side panel rectangles (you will have 13 hemmed rectangles.) Do this by folding the edge over 1/4″ twice, pressing, and stitching close to the fold.
For each of the side panels, layer a 5″ and 7″ pocket on top of a 9″ panel as follows (disregard the fact that in the photo the middle pocket is flipped around, it is only to make it easier to see):Baste 1/4″ away from each side edge and along the bottom to form two pockets.
Next you will create dividing lines on both of these side panels. This is easier to plot out on the back, where you can measure out the slots and mark them with a pen. You want to create a 1″ space in the middle by finding the center of the panel and sewing a line 1/2″ out from there. Only sew up to the top of the 7″ pocket.
The next step is a little tricky. Starting with the largest pockets at the top and working towards the smallest at the bottom, create the center panel spacing the pockets about 1/2″ apart. The bottom-most pocket should line up with the bottom of the panel. All of the pocket’s bottoms will stagger, which will keep down on the bulk of the seams. Here is a photo of what it should look like when they are all lined up properly:
If you were to turn all the pockets over and spread them out, it should look like this:
Once all the pockets are lined up, carefully start sewing each one in place starting with the top pocket and working your way down to the bottom. Sew a straight seam 1/4″ from the bottom of each pocket, followed by a zig zag seam to reinforce and finish the edge of the pocket.
As you layer them, it will start to look like this:
With right sides facing and using a 1/2″ seam allowance, sew the side panels to the center panel and finish the raw edges.
With RS facing and using 1/2″ seam allowance, sew the top and side flaps to the panels. Finish the raw edges. Press all of the seams flat.
Using the front as a pattern, cut out a backing fabric.
If you want round corners, cut them out now.
Before you sew the front and back together, cut a small piece of elastic and tack it onto the front flap like so:
Leaving a 4″ gap along the flap for turning, seam around the edge of the backing and the organizer front with RS facing using a 1/2″ allowance.
Use a zig zag stitch to finish the edge and clip corners for turning.
Turn the whole sh’bang inside out. If you’re feeling fancy, use a blind stitch to close the opening. (I was not feeling fancy so I just closed it with the top stitching.) Top stitch narrowly around the edge of the whole perimeter.
Now you need to stuff your case, so you can roll it up and figure out where to put the button. So organize your stuff and get it in there!
Roll your case up and mark where your button should go. You want to stretch the elastic slightly, but not so much that if you add more needles you can’t close the thing.
Now that you’ve got all your needles nice and organized, you have to take them back out. So you can sew the button on! (You may not need to take them -all- out, just enough that you can maneuver your way in there.)
And that’s it! Put your needles back in and you’re on your way.
You can also make a matching accessory pouch!
You can pretty easily modify this tutorial to suit your own needs, just change a few dimensions and make it your own! And don’t forget to share your results, I definitely want to see them :)
Oh, hey, by the way, since you’re interested in knitting, you should check out my other website. It’s where I’m publishing 100 baby sweater patterns over the course of a year. There’s other stuff on there too, so even if you don’t knit for babies, come check it out :)